NEW DELHI: India’s presidential poll will be held on July 19, the election commission announced Tuesday, with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee the leading candidate for the largely ceremonial role.
Presidential candidates have until June 30 to file their nominations and results will be announced on July 22, election commission spokesman Rajesh Malhotra told AFP.
“The counting of votes will be held on July 22 and the result will be declared the same day,” he said.
The winner will replace Pratibha Patil, the first woman to hold India’s highest constitutional post. Her five-year term began on July 25, 2007 and is scheduled to end on July 24.
Indian presidents are elected by an electoral college comprising MPs from the federal parliament’s two houses and lawmakers of state legislatures.
Mukherjee, 77, a member of the ruling Congress but whose popularity cuts across political lines, is seen as the frontrunner to become the new head of state amid speculation that he has the backing of his party and some of its key electoral allies.
The president is the supreme commander of India’s armed forces and must approve all new legislation, but under the constitution executive power rests with the prime minister and his cabinet.
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